Monday, August 31, 2015

Holiday Project Ideas

Our favorite suggestions . . .
The school buses are on the road, the swimming pools are closing for the year - fall is almost here and it's time to start thinking about your holiday projects!  We now have 6,861 Ravelry patterns available on our site.  It's great to have so many potential projects to choose from . . . but it can also be overwhelming to have to many projects to choose from!  Where do you even begin?

Well, we got that figured out for you . . . Here are some suggestions!
Acht the Octopus

Go to our Holiday Project Ideas page.  We have shawls, toys, babies, hats, cowls, socks, mittens and scarfs winnowed down to a manageable number of favorites.  Scroll through our recommendations, or add your own additional criteria to whittle it down even more.  We also have yarn suggestions next to each category.

If you like wide open spaces and endless possibilities, go to our E-Pattern Search Page.  Type in your search criteria, and go!  Search based on any combination of category, yarn weight, needle size, difficulty, designer or a specific yarn.  You can be as broad or as specific as you want, and you can change your criteria as you go along.

Cable and Moss Stitch Hat
Many of our online patterns have yarn suggestions listed on the bottom of the page.  Our yarn experts make suggestions by reviewing each pattern one-by-one.  So . . . they're not all done yet.  But if there isn't a yarn recommendation on a pattern you like feel free to give us a call or send an e-mail for yarn suggestions.

If you prefer the feel of a good old-fashioned pattern book, come into our store.  Our FiberWild! designed patterns are organized into pattern books.  You can sit down at our table and leisurely flip through the pages of each one to find the perfect pattern for you.  When you find the pattern you like, Debra, Karen or I will be happy to help you find the perfect yarn.

I like the excitement of picking a pattern and a yarn for a new project.  I want your pattern selection to be a fun adventure, not stressful and overwhelming.  If you need some help please let us know!

Happy (and stress-free) Knitting . . . . Amy

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Keeping the Mystery KAL in Perspective

Perspectives Kit in Plum/Brass
You've heard that in life it's important to keep things in perspective.  I pledge to keep the new Mountain Colors Mystery Knit Along (MKAL) in perspective . . . . Literally.  Because it's knit in the Mountain Colors Perspective Crazyfoot yarn set!  

Have you used Perspectives yet?  It's the perfect solution for the color junkie in you!  Each set includes five mini skiens of coordinating colors of Crazyfoot yarn, a durable fingering weight wool that's machine washable.  Each mini skein contains 90 yards for a total of 450 yards per pack.  You get a fun mix of colors - but not too much of any one color.

Bonus:  We have the Crazyfoot Perspectives kits on sale at 20% off!

Perspectives in Silver/Purple
The MKAL is designed and hosted by Mari Chiba.  You've seen her designs in Interweave Knits, Knitscene, Knit.Purl, Knitty, Twist Collective, and more in addition to self publishing on Ravelry. But on top of all that professional stuff, we know that Mari is silly and fun - so I'm sure that this will be a fun project!

We know that the mystery pattern is a cowl.  What does it look like?  We don't know!  Mari tells us that it's approximately 26.5" around and 16" tall, and it's a lovely lightweight cowl that can be worn in any season.  She also said that it's perfect for the intermediate beginner who is familiar with knitting in the round and is eager to learn some new stitches.  How will Mari use the different colors in the Perspectives kit?  We'll all have to stay tuned...

Perspectives in Sage/Moss
The pattern is a Ravelry pattern and can be easily purchased through FiberWild! (along with our other 6,861 Ravelry patterns!).  The pattern updates will be sent each week through Ravelry, starting with Clue #1 on September 3rd - just in time to stuff in your bag for your Labor Day Weekend trip!  The remaining clues will be on the next three Thursdays: September 10th, 17th & 24th.

Do you like prizes?  Who doesn't?  Mountain Colors is offering three great prizes:

Perspectives in Brights
Prize #1: Purchase the Perspectives MKAL pattern now through September 3rd and you’ll be entered to win a Perspectives Crazyfoot Kit!  

Prize #2: Create a Ravelry project page for your Perspectives MKAL, project tag your project MCMKAL and be entered to win a skein of Mountain Colors Yarn!  

Prize #3: Post a photo of your finished cowl by October 1st in the Ravelry group to qualify for a yarn prize!

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Easygoing, Easy Knit, Ocean Flow Cardigan

Nothing says calm and serenity like the gentle lapping waves of the ocean.  So what could possibly be more easygoing than the Ocean Flow Cardigan, inspired by the ocean's waves and knit in Zen Yarn Garden's Serenity DK!

Going out on a Friday night?  Dress it up with some great jewelry (the bracelet length arms won't hide your bling!).  Running out for Saturday morning errands?  Dress it down with a pair of jeans.  This simple and comfortable sweater is becoming on any figure.

Ocean Flow Cardigan
The Ocean Flow Cardigan is a gentle top down raglan cardigan, worked with no seams, and the skill level is easy.  It's designed with simple shaping that allows the back to flow across our, ahem, lower center of gravity. The stylish front features long, flowing tails, and it can be worn open and rippling, or closed to show off your newest shawl pin or broach.

Bonus:  We have Zen Yarn Garden's Serenity DK yarn on sale at 20% off!

Super Bonus:  The Ocean Flow Cardigan pattern is FREE with the purchase of Serenity DK yarn!

Even the yarn is easy.  Serenity DK is a lush superwash merino wool, with just a hint of cashmere for even more softness.

Ocean Flow Cardigan Backside
Easy to wear, and easy to knit.  The hardest part?  Choosing a color.  We've got 16 bold and delicious colors in stock, a difficult choice for sure!  But . . . Serenity DK is also available in 160 additional special order colors.  No, that's not a typo:  I said one hundred and sixty additional special order colors!  The special order colors only take a few weeks to arrive at your house . . . still plenty of time for fall knitting.

The Ocean Flow Cardigan is a relaxing, easy end-of-summer project - and when it's done you'll be ready for fall weather!

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Final Four: Liberty Wool Print's Four New Colors

Mesh Stitch Scarf in Pink Shadow
Too many colors?  No such thing!  Classic Elite Yarn already had a terrific selection of nearly 40 colors of Liberty Wool Print, a soft worsted-weight machine-washable 100% wool yarn in a huge assortment of self-striping colorways.  Classic Elite promised to add 12 more colors this year, and the Final Four newbies are here - and they saved the best for last!

Pink Shadow is pink, but it's not only pink.  Deep pink, fushia pink, pale pink and peachy pink are rounded out with a tad bit of blue, green and gray so that you get the glory pink without being too pink.  The free Mesh Stitch Scarf is an easy stitch that's more fun to make than a standard garter stitch scarf.

Yoke Pullover in Ocean Crest
Think the ocean is blue?  It is . . . but it isn't.  Ocean Crest has various shades of calming blue, but also adds the greens of the marine plants dancing in the crest.  The free Yoke Pullover jazzes up the mellow blend with some interesting colorwork that only uses two colors - Ocean Crest and one solid color.

Ripple moves in gentle waves of color from red to pink to gray to purple.  The free triangular shawl highlights the colors with a wavy ripple on the bottom edge to give the scarf the look of bounce and movement - even when you're standing still!

Shawl in Ripple
Just plain sand is boring, but Sandy is more than just sand.  Sandy brings in the tawny tan, brown and gray of the sandy beach, then blends it with the blue of the sky and the russet of the evening sun being swallowed into the ocean.  The result is an earthy, serene blend.  The free Pullover has a pretty panel at the front that breaks up the self striping with a subtle change. 

Bonus:  Pick a color - any color - and you can choose a free pattern!

Double Bonus:  All Liberty Wool Print yarn is on sale at 20% off!

Pullover in Sandy
Want more patterns?  It's easy to find pattens for a nice worsted weight yarn, from dramatic new designs to classic standards.  Check our Liberty Wool Print page for some of my favorite patterns for kids, adults, shawls, hats, mittens, wraps, home decor, and more!

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

Monday, August 17, 2015

Kits - The Perfect Gift to Give (or Get!)

The Stockton Sock Kit
Remember the childhood excitement of getting an awesome gift under the Christmas tree - and then the bitter disappointment when you realize that Santa didn't bring any batteries?  You would have to wait until the next day for your parents to buy some batteries so you could play with your new toy!

I get the same feeling when someone gives me an awesome yarn - but no pattern!

So that's why I like our kits - especially for gift giving.  You get the pattern and the yarn in one cute little ready-to-get-knittin' package - all you have to do is get your needles and start knitting.

We've put together a list of 18 kits that are great to give or receive.  Here are some of my favorites:  
  • Got a cell phone addicted teenager?  The
    Ruffled Crocheted Wristlet
    Braid Back Wristlet kit is perfect for cold weather - a little something to cover your hands while keeping your fingers free to call or text!
  • Don't forget the crocheters!  The Ruffled Crocheted Wristlet is both feminine and functional with a pretty optional ruffle along the edge. 
  • Tired of knitting foofy, lacy socks? The Stockton Sock Kit is a warm compliment to your outdoor wardrobe - a plain workhorse of a sock without any lacework, cables or strange new stitches to stumble over.  Made of locally produced yarn, these socks are perfect for the long, cold winter ahead. 
  • Who doesn't need a little magic?  The Magic Princess Set uses HiKoo's fun Abracadabra yarn that changes color when you go into the sunlight.  Choose the hat, leggings, purse, or all three.  They're white in the house, but step into the sunshine outdoors and pink and purple stripes magically appear.  
  • Sometimes you just gotta knit silly. 
    Magic Princess Set
    The Felted Ewe Knitting Kit is absolutely adorable!  The I-cord legs and arms are made first, then the body is worked in the round attaching the arms and legs as you go.  The kit even includes fiberfill to stuff your new little friend!
The kits are especially nice for our non-knitting friends to give us.  They don't have to fret about whether it's enough yarn or the right kind of yarn.  Just send them a link to our Kits to Make or Give page, with some fairly obvious hints about which kits you like best, and you won't be taunted with a pattern that you can't start immediately!

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

Friday, August 14, 2015

October KAL: The Wandering Moon Shawl

Rylie in the new hand dyed Power Pink
This October Michelle Hunter ramps up another of her popular knit alongs!  All we know about the Wandering Moon Shawl is that it is a crescent-shaped shawl knit in the luxurious natural blend HiKoo Rylie.  And, knowing Michelle, we know it will be amazing! We wish we had pictures to share with you but then, well, it wouldn't be a mystery!

Rylie in Periwinkle
You'll need two skeins of HiKoo Rylie to complete the project.  This sport-weight natural-fiber yarn blends ultra-soft baby alpaca with luxurious mulberry silk and crisp and durable linen. The result is a rich, drapey yarn with fantastic yardage.
 
Sometimes you just gotta be girly!  Rylie is available in 16 bold colors, but HiKoo has added an additional color - Power Pink.  And boy, is it PINK!  Power Pink is a new hand-dyed custom color made especially for this KAL and available in a limited supply.

Bonus:  All of our HiKoo Rylie yarn, including Power Pink, is on sale at 20% off!

So how does it work?  It's easy ... Michelle will reveal the pattern on her website in four segments, starting on Thursday, October 1st.  How much does it cost?  Nothing!  You don't have to register or pay any fee to participate.  Have a question?  No problem, Michelle posts photos and online video instructions, plus you can post questions on Michelle's KAL site or in her Ravelry group. Questions are typically answered daily.  It's like having a knitting tutor right by your side!  And it's OK to get video help at 3 am - perhaps your grandmother isn't so accommodating!

What's with the funny name?  The Wandering Moon shawl is a tribute to William Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream:

          We the globe can compass soon
          Swifter than the wandering moon.

If that's not your normal mode of speaking, you can translate it as:  We can travel the globe so fast that we will get to our destination while it is still night, before the wandering moon has arrived.  

Or, you can translate it as "Hey, that's a really great crescent-moon shaped shawl!"

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

Monday, August 10, 2015

New Sock of the Month - The Crystal Galaxy

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . .

Not too far, actually.  As the patterns in our Sock of the Month projects get progressively more interesting with new skill building opportunities, you may think the new Crystal Galaxy Socks were designed by an advanced alien civilization.  The truth is they were designed right here in our own galaxy, in Galena, Illinois. 

Crystal Galaxy Socks
Worked from the top down, these very handsome socks sport an elaborate out-of-this-world texture that's remarkably simple to knit.  What appears to be a simple all-over geometric pattern is worked into the texture of the sock. The twisted and traveling ribs will challenge and delight you - and the rib pattern gives the sock amazing strength.

Do you prefer written instructions or charted instructions?  It doesn't matter . . .  The Crystal Galaxy Socks pattern includes both.  You'll need a cable needle and a little care, and you'll do great by just following the pattern.

Bonus:  The Crystal Galaxy Sock pattern is FREE with the purchase of Dream in Color's Everlasting Sock HEAVY

Crystal Galaxy Socks
Everlasting Sock HEAVY is the big brother of Everlasting Sock.  HEAVY is the same 100% Superwash Australian Wool, but the gauge is slightly heavier.  And don't worry, you can still knit up a pair of socks with just one skein. This high twist, durable yarn is available for a limited time only - and only at FiberWild! - so grab a skein before they're gone!

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy